Juxtapose this

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | | 4 comments »

Please welcome our latest columnist to The Rural Modernist fold, Joe Armenia from Campagna Home. He will be weighing in on his latest design obsessions, tips, and finds on a regular basis and I couldn't be happier since it means less work for me.

We are obsessed with juxtaposition. Not only is is great for fashion (crappy old jeans, a plain white tee shirt and Gucci python loafers, for example), but it is a GENIUS design technique for your home.

As you have seen in countless photo layouts, the merging of old and new (read: quaint traditional meets hyper modern) in interior design is haute haute haute. Nowhere is this design trend more prevalent than in the homes of urban refugees, who seek a better lifestyle and more space outside of the city, but who decidedly do NOT want to lose their edge. Modern classics like a Saarinen table or Bertoia barstools are what the chic folk like in the country. Juxtaposition....a woodsy, rural setting and a sleek piece of furniture/art. Somehow it works.

Taking that a step further, we love to take expected and traditional pieces and flip the script. We've been lacquering very ornate Baroque and Rococo frames in super bright colors like turquoise and fuchsia. We recently took an antique 19th century French farm table and replaced the entire surface with a slab of gleaming red lucite. But this can be done in much more accessible, everyday ways for the average Joe.

The genius and twisted minds behind Subversive Cross Stitch feel the same way. We have all seen framed cross-stitch designs on the walls and embroidery hoops of our grandmothers and spinster aunts. They are sweet and comforting, "Home Is Where The Heart Is" type of fare....but now, there is a whole fresh take on them....just look at some of these special designs:

Can't you just see these in glossy, brightly painted frames on a stark white wall...in a grouping? Positioned creatively, the tongue-in-chic of it all will be a major design plus, and the small scale of them will keep your overall design minimal and clean. It is super cheap (just a few bucks for the whole kit....then a few more for a cheap frame and some spray paint!), really powerful, and a ton of fun. And that's what design should be.


  1. joe*to*hell // September 23, 2009 at 2:16 PM


  2. Patty // September 23, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    My sister made me a lovely "HOMO SWEET HOMO" cross-stitch for my home. I crammed it in a cheap frame, and voilá!

  3. alexis // September 23, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    Ohh I wonder if I could get one custom made "Who gonna check me boo"

  4. larry // September 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    i like, don't make me cut you!